Weekday Observatory DASH Service Successful So Far
LOS FELIZ—Since expanding to include weekday service and later hours several months ago, ridership of the Griffith Observatory DASH bus line has increased more than 50% from the same time last year, according to Los Angeles Dept. of Transportation (LADOT) data.
The change came as part of a larger traffic reduction plan for Griffith Park, approved in September 2016, which included the controversial implementation of paid, $4 per hour parking at the Observatory.
“The extended hours and weekday service was instituted March 21st and since then, 143,715 passengers have boarded the Observatory DASH route. During the same period last year, there were 26,886 passengers,” said Oliver Hou, with LADOT.
Adjusted to include only days on which the bus was running, those numbers average to about 1,033 riders per day in the past five months, compared with about 672 per day when the line was only running on weekends — a 53.7% increase in ridership.
“We are happy to say that the increases in ridership have exceeded our expectations, and we do anticipate greater increases as time goes on,” said Hou.
Danny Cohen, chair of the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council’s (LFNC) Transportation and Mobility Committee, said he has noticed the Observatory DASH line “being used frequently, and more times than not, it is full,” but that more could be done to increase awareness of the extended hours.
“Reliability and frequency are paramount for the success of any transit line and the expanded hours and days have helped … though I have still spoken to neighbors and friends who had no idea about this great service,” said Cohen.
To that end, the LFNC sent a letter in April to LADOT requesting they implement additional outreach measures, such as making a loudspeaker announcement of the route at the Vermont/Sunset Metro station and working with the Greek Theatre to provide free promotional DASH service for one upcoming event.
Though the LFNC has not yet received a response to their letter, Cohen said he assumes it is because officials are still evaluating the relatively new change.
“My hope is that they are taking our suggestions into consideration when deciding what to do next,” he said. “I’m excited that our transportation options for Griffith Park are being thoroughly and thoughtfully considered.”